Oh, VV! I'm so glad I read this, I've been meaning to for a long time. Be prepared for a gushing, emotional review. ;)
Thank you for writing such an addictive, insightful, WONDERFUL fic. I'm amazed at how this fits in with canon; everything is so well explained that it feels like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle coming together. I can't even pick an instance, it was all so perfect. Your wit has also made this an entirely pleasant read while I had been expecting a very grim story judging by the rating and the warnings. But in fact, I spent many a minute grinning madly at the computer screen to the puzzlement of my family. Such wicked humor!
Of course, the tragic power of this story is undeniable. I ached for Severus so many times. Hadrian, Lily, the Marauders...gosh, I'm tearing up now. Your characterization of him is perfect, it's what makes this story, along with the fresh portrayal of Lily. When I finshed reading, I sat for a bit in awe. The hope that Severus feels for Harry brings his story full circle and is unbearably sad. I would ask for a sequel, but somehow this story feels complete as it is. I'll have to make do with the one-shots. =) Thank you, VV. I'm going to scurry over to the forums and start advertizing like mad.
Author's Response: Thank you! I'll never turn down a happy review.
I have this firm opinion that grimness calls for balance, and that bad things have to happen to a basically likeable character to really have an impact. The best thing about the Prince, from what we've seen of him in canon, was that he did have a rather wicked sense of fun -- but a fairly harmless one. Really, how bad a thing is it for your toenails to grow a lot very suddenly? It seemed his Dark reputation might have been a bit overstated, since after all that sort of jinx is a lot funnier when it's being done to someone else. We mostly have the word of its target when we hear from Sirius. Still, 'that toenail thing' is the spell from the Potterverse I most wish I could do myself.
As for the grimness, it seemed necessary to make the mischievous Prince into the terrifying Professor. I'd venture that if it doesn't hurt to write the transition, it probably isn't being done correctly.
I'm glad you liked this Lily. She's supposed to be a good bit like Ginny and vice versa, so she just couldn't be totally sweet, and for her to be friends with Severus called for a certain richness and subtlety that went well with her talent for Potions. I genuinely enjoy writing Lily, and need to do that some more.
Hello Again! I've deceided to start my second reading of this story! I feel some of the other fics don't have the same 'je ne sais quoi' as this and i miss reading good writing. So now I begin.
Author's Response: Wow. A second read is seriously flattering. (Now if I could just get the origific to go onto paper the way this did...) Thanks for reading, and rereading, and reviewing! This really made my day.
I normally do not submit reviews. I prefer to lurk in the shadows, but I was utterly moved to tears when the albatross arrived with its message.
The way you deftly handle Severus is a magic unto itself. Then there are the small details you picked out of the books (the feminine handwriting in HBP, the jar of cockroaches) and how you seamlessly weave possibilities into the warp and weft of the Potterverse. Enchanting and inspiring.
I love the entire series, but this is my favorite chapter.
Author's Response: Thanks! I'm glad you came out of the shadows to say this. All those little details in the books suddenly assembled themselves into a story, and next thing I knew I was writing Severus. For whatever reason, I'm still writing him -- and don't mind.
Sometimes--no, mostly, but it doesn't bother me overly much--I don't know which you're suggesting/supporting, that Sev really does love Lily but can't understand it, or that what he feels is the non-romantic caring he thinks he has for her. Hmm, it's really just another reason to keep reading and thinking...
Author's Response: You know, I'm not sure myself, and could make a case for both. I think that given his past and beliefs about himself, he cares for her too much to love her, if that makes any sense at all. Thanks for reading and reviewing!
"exchanging spittle" --putting one off kissing indeed, but humorously at least.
Oh and the added layer of intrigue with worst enemies being family.... mmm this is a brilliant chapter for many more reasons than I've said or could possibly think of.
Author's Response: I actually nabbed that idea from an old roommate, who teased a friend about publicly "swapping spit." It just -- worked. (And the friend was more discreet afterward, too.) Thanks!
Such a light-hearted and goofishly mischevious chapter! And that charm-thingy idea is so clever, and a bunny lol. Oh and I like asparagus too.
Author's Response: Me too, but Lily seems to class it somewhere below Stinksap. Everyone has her quirks. The Marauders couldn't be having all the fun, now, could they? *chuckle* Thanks for reviewing!
I really like your Dumbledore; he handles Snape in a similar way that Jo writes him with Harry, only Dumbledore seems to be more successful with Snape. I've always felt the two had a good deal of respect for each other; you've fostered that belief quite well.
Author's Response: Hello! I haven't seen you here in a while; good to have you back, and thanks! You know, of the characters I attempt, Dumbledore always seems the most difficult, so this review is reassuring. For some reason I always had the feeling Dumbledore and Severus respected each other without liking each other very much. They're just a little too different.
I liked this chapter, I like how you made them all friends in the beginning, but Sirius not. I just have one question, what are you talking about when you say Severus' accent? He has a different accent then all of them? I didn't think so. Anyways good chapter!
Author's Response: At this point, yes, he has some accent -- it goes away later. I didn't try to spell it too terribly often, though! He did grow up in a mill town, though for some reason everyone else thinks Northern England and I think Wales. That was the other reason I didn't try to spell it! Glad you liked the chapter! Thanks for the review!
This first chapter is really good. I look forward to readng more of this story. I've been looking for stories that are more of Severus's point of view then of the manduarns (sp?). I really liked how you portrayed his parents, and I look forward to seeing what you do with Severus as he gets older.
Author's Response: Thanks! Glad to have you here. There are a few Severus stories hiding in the category. Severus doesn't manage to have as lively a life in here as Harry seems to have, but hopefully you'll like him.
Hello again! I said at some point not too long ago (and murmured to myself many times before that) that I should read your longer work, and recently I got around to it. I am not a reviewer who sits down and reviews every chapter as she reads, rather I read as far as is posted and review whatever is most recent. Any story that is good enough that I would want to review every chapter is also good enough that I cannot conscience stopping to write reviews. Since I have very recently devoured forty-six chapters of this and am sadly left with no more to read, now seems like a good time to stop and review.
First off, please tell me there’s a sequel on the way. You give us a tantalizing taste of Severus’s reaction to seeing Harry at school, and it leaves me wanting to hear it all through his eyes. Throughout the story there have been so many moments that explained various actions, reactions, and personality quirks that a careful reader will recognize as explaining various moments in the canon stories. I’d like to see the actual books through your Severus’s eyes as well, to see how you explain Snape’s moods entering various situations, and on a broader level see how Severus interprets the intrigues of each school year.
A couple of other things that really made this special for me… I really liked the whole “Saint” and “Prince” thing; it was very believable. You had Lily literally popping out of the screen. She was so real, so vibrant, so human. She fits everything we’ve heard about her in canon, but she’s something more than just the sum of those traits. I generally avoid any and all marauder era stories because I find that the characterizations are so often just that, so this was a really refreshing change. I really liked Lily, and of course I worship your Severus, who I think, in this story, ties for one of the best two Severus characterizations I have ever read. If you are interested, my other favorite is Duj’s Severus in Who Lives In Disguise on Ashwinder (which is an odd place for it since it contains no romance).
The other specific touch that was like the frosted roses on top of the icing for me was the number of times Severus ended up in the Hospital Wing. For one thing, I was fascinated by his relationship with Poppy. For another… I’ve always imagined Severus as extremely sickly. It’s an especially effective plot device because his frequent illnesses allow us to see Severus vulnerable and in pain, which makes him much more sympathetic as a character. And you’ve done it in such a way as to make his frequent extended stays in the Hospital Wing explain a great deal about his bitterness towards Potter and the rest. If you were to write a sequel (:: tries very hard not to make puppy eyes and fails miserably ::), I’d be curious to see you work it into a version of the “Harry at Hogwarts” years, because it could really put some interesting twists on familiar events.
Hmmmm… I’ve been blathering for a while here, and haven’t really gotten to constructive criticism yet. The story flows very well from chapter to chapter, and there aren’t really any discontinuities between chapters, even reading the story all at once. Your writing is so wonderful that I’m afraid I can’t offer any useful comments on how anything major could be improved… maybe that impossibility is helpful feedback? I’m not going to scour the full text for nitpicks, but I’ll have a go at this chapter.
Several paragraphs down: In the minds of everyone who knew him, he was Professor Snape, defined by his black garb, particularly the cloak, and the glower of a perpetual Hogwarts-induced headache. I think you might want to change the comma after “Professor Snape” to a colon, since what follows is a description of his persona. Though that’s more a matter of preference than anything else.
Close to the end, you have: After all, they had seven years ahead of them in the safest place in Britain. I found the ‘they’ and ‘them’ rather confusing; it took me a while to realize that “they” refers to Harry and Severus, together. Since the last noun before this sentence is “the boy,” it might make more sense to say ‘he’ and ‘him,’ both for grammatical clarity and because it makes more sense as a thought coming from Severus. Does that make any sense? I feel like I’m being monstrously unclear about explaining it, but hopefully you can read the paragraph and see what I’m getting at.
I have to admit that I was incredibly disappointed when I came far enough out of the story to realize that this chapter was the end, but the ending is amazing. It brings the story back to Lily and the motif of eyes, which you seem to have a thing for. It also speaks volumes about how painful the coming years will be for Severus. Even more than the 45 9/10 chapters that precede it, the ending is incredibly poignant.
Author's Response: What an absolutely lovely review! *more blushes* I'll have to pull my lovely beta Slian Martreb up for bows, too, as she's the one who told me when the chapters didn't flow, when the sentences didn't make sense, and so on.
You're going to think this is weird -- but the 'they/them' there near the end really was deliberate. For all Harry's opinions, Severus is thinking of the two of them as potentially getting along at that point (As I've said elsewhere, he scowls at everyone like that.) Now I just have to wonder how the transition from 'the boy' to the conjoined concept can be smoother. Thanks for reading, reviewing, and the tip!
fanastic....best fanfic in this site~
Author's Response: Wow! Thank you. There are some pretty darned good fanfics on this site for competition!
Aaawww.... I truly do not know what to say about this series. Brilliant and awe-inspiring are the first two words that spring to mind.
I love the truth in your story-telling, and the honesty of your interpretation of Snape. I found your style pleasingly similar to Rowling's, and Severus perfectly in-character. I loved the little touches and twists that you added - Ink, Lily's toad, the origin of the nickname Prince, and the details of him inventing spells. Hadrian simply broke my heart. A beautiful, agonising concept so simply told.... and the I loved that she named him Hadrian!
Funnily enough, I'd also associated Severus with horses on a subconcious level for a very long time, and it fits very well with the storyline, though I perhaps was thinking more of huge black Hanoverians than of Percherons!
I liked the way you wrote the Marauders too, particularly Lupin. They all had nice touches of integrity and their moments of sympathy... skilfully handled. I thought Dumbledore's early coaching of Snape a very effective parallel, and entirely appropriate - I very much enjoyed the deliberate parallels to the books... little things like 'You don't need to call me sir!' Very cleverly done. And I liked Snape's pseudonym for his published works. *Snicker!*
A great story, and a wonderful read. Thank you.
Author's Response: Thank you! I had to go blush for a couple of days before replying to this review. And I wish I could take all the credit you're offering, but mostly it felt like Severus wrote this and I only deserve praise for being a good secretary. JKR has given us so many little hints about Severus in the books, and so many of them can be taken in so many ways, that assembling the puzzle wasn't as hard as it might have been. Doing something similar for Flitwick, for instance, would be very nearly an original fiction, but Severus is the teacher Harry knows best -- though I doubt either of them is happy about that.
One of these days I really ought to write a story about the Percheron and the farm, but Jeremiah just isn't the talkative sort and won't tell me a thing. Maybe someday Severus will slip a little something into his uncle's drink for me and make the man talk.
I just noticed the "Protego" connection with Book 5... I really should stop gushing over you and your work, so how's a simple really awesome?
Author's Response: Aw, you noticed... Simple is just fine! Thanks!
Wow, this chapter is really sad. Snape's distress is absolutely palpable, and really intense.
I've really enjoyed your "take" on some things and think you have hit quite a few on the head. I also enjoyed that quill/communication spell.
You've done the remarkable job of managing to cover "the Snape/Lily question" without making it either ridiculous or sappy - and that says quite a lot
Author's Response: Thanks. This review means a great deal to me. *self-spoilers ahead* After a long pondering of what would make Dumbledore trust Severus, and how Harry utterly reinvented what Dumbledore siad about it, this seemed the most plausible explanation. If Severus was absolutely crushed by the events at Godric Hollow, but wouldn't talk about it, Dumbledore could assume all sorts of things, and everyone stays in character. Severus also seemed the sort of person who would value a best (only?) friend far more than an ex-lover; who might, in fact, not trust anyone who would be his lover, or trust that sort of love itself.
I'm reaching that sorry state where looking back at this fic makes me remember things I would like to redo. Thanks for dropping by and saying nice things about it; my afterthoughts like that tend to be wrong, and a good review can remind me of that before I go and do something stupid. There's rewriting, which is good, and then there are afterthoughts, which are not.
Nice beginning. I´m keen for the rest.
Author's Response: Thanks! Happy reading!
A friend of mine told me about this fic and said it was fantastic, so I decided to read it too. however; my conclusion is that your story is good, well written, etc. but I just dont think that The Snape in your story has a personality, it's not him, its not like you think, Wow, thats so much Snape when he was younger. but again this is only the first chapter and there's about 45 I havent read yet so its not like I can think "you will never make your snape, snape." but I look forward to read the next chapters. one of the things that made me start reading this fic, was, I think, also that ive never read a fic about snape. and I was curious about seeing his side of the story as well. the only snape you know is the one in Harry's world, a snape you loathe because harry does, but you dont really know him. and im not dissapointet, seeing that this fic have 46 chapters so far!!!
Author's Response: I think by Chapter 46 you will find him to look a bit more like the Severus Harry thinks he knows. One of my hobbies is probably best dubbed "Character Geology" -- which forces on what basic material would lead to the person we see at 30, or 40, or whenever. I'm happy to hear you had a friend pulling you in here, and that you decided to take a chance on it despite the monster length. Happy reading!
It been a month since read this maybe more. It took me 3 days of staying up untill 5 in morning, but it was so worth it! Through reading this story i've come to have a fondness for Snape that I never had. He's had such a hard life,... poor guy.. But he was stong.
You know something, through your story I think Iv'e come to think of Severus as a real person. Even if JK wrote a completly differnt story on the background of Severus, I'd still be in my room reading it saying "that's not right! Vindictus , didn't say so!" lol I've read many of your fics and you hands down are my favorite author! Thank you for using your genius to grace the pages of this website!
Author's Response: Wow. Thanks! *blush* I'm glad this story kept you up nights (that's only fair, it kept me up nights too!) thinking over Severus from a new angle. He did seem to me to be a strong character, and yet a bit broken too, and that was probably what made me start writing in the first place. The archaeology of it all, figuring out what hints we have about him and making a structure from those hints, was fascinating. I'm glad you found the results worth the reading.
I must say that I really enjoyed this story. Snape is one of my favorite characters, and you portrayed him exactly as I imagined. You stayed In Character perfectly, and it was great.
I also think that you really should put this up on fanfiction.net. I would have found it alllllot sooner, because I hardly ever come on mugglenets.
Anyways, great story.
Author's Response: Thanks for reviewing this, and for visiting over here on MNFF! I've thought about posting this on other sites, but here has gotten to be home of sorts. Too, I just don't seem to have time. I'm glad you came by; this is a site with a great number of Snapefans, so do come back and read around some more! Thanks for reviewing!
I'm starting my second read of your story and truly owe you a review: I sometimes have trouble separating your Snape history from cannon.
I stumbled across your story just before the final chapters were posted and that was my very first experience with fanfic. Bravo! You got me hooked.
Author's Response: Thanks for the review! I tried very hard to match up everything to canon (at the time of writing -- grr! to Black Family Tree) and make everything work, though I've rethought some little details since. I'm glad this brought you into fanfic; there's some good stuff going on in here!
Absolutely amazing. There was no way to stop and review every chapter. I'll never look at snape the same way again. Uggh James is such a ...vile...bleep bleep. i love the way it fits in so perfectlywith the HP books.I've recommended it as the 'adult' HP. Keep going.
Author's Response: Thanks! Wow, you know how to say the things that make an author's day. The longer I looked at Severus, the more I realized that everything he said could be taken at least two different ways, and that Harry was bound and determined to always take the worst. Taking ALL the interpretations as being at least partly true yielded a very interesting person, and I had to start writing.